Sunday, October 31, 2010

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Can ya believe that another month has come and gone?  I can't!  Pretty soon we'll be sitting around the table for Thanksgiving and around the tree for Christmas!!  Where does the time go?

Anyway, this is going to be a real short post as I spent all day working on the brand new page, "What IS Fibromyalgia."  I hope you like it.  I tried to make it as complete as possible, but if I left something crucial out, please let me know.  My eyes are at the bleary stage now!!

And this is for Rochelle, who wrote me and said she had never heard of Janet Evanovich.  She is the BEST fiction, mystery writer I have ever seen. Her books are such a scream!  You can visit her website at:
www.evanovich.com.  Try some her books at your local library and see if you like them.  I just absolutely think she is the best!!!

I'll end this post with a cute picture of Jack.  He was "helping" me write the new page:
 He just has to be a part of everything, doesn't he?

Have a great day!
Until next post,

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Changes Are In The Air

Hello, my dear friends!

Did ya miss me?  I've been taking a much needed break and actually just woke up at 4pm today!  Of course, I didn't sleep at all last night, my back has been giving me a bunch of fits and I had to sit on the floor for pretty much the whole night.  I can't sit in a chair for very long as the chair seat hits the back of my legs and gets those nerves going and it hurts like heck.  And I can only lay for so long....sigh.  I'm just miserable.  This blog makes me so happy to do, that if I didn't have it, or you, my friends or my family, I'd be done for. 

Anyway, this will be a short post.  I'm working on two pages for the blog and one of them is already done and you may have seen it already.  It's called "The Schranz Ranch" and it outlines how hard our animals have it!  LOL!  The next page I will be working on tonight is called "What IS Fibromyalgia" and will be an educational page and my experiences of dealing with the "beast"......what works, what doesn't, ect.  I hope you all will like it.

Have a good evening, everyone!  I'll put up a blog hop and do go blog hoppin'....it's fun!
I'll let you know when the new page is done.  :0)
Have a good one!
Big hugs,
Until next post,

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Last Stop: Laughlin, NV

Howdy, folks!
Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.  Here it is remaining on the cooler front, more like fall, minus the pretty colored falling leaves.  That's what I miss about Michigan is seeing those beautiful colored leaves and smelling the scent of fall....burning leaves, crisp air....ah, I can imagine it in my mind's eye and I remember it very well!  So to those of you that actually have a season called fall, ENJOY IT!  It goes too fast and it so pretty!

Pretty soon Frankie and I will go to my cardiologist office and get my medical records (hopefully the surgery clearance note will be in there!) and then we will come back home, scan the records in (as I INSIST now on having a copy of everything) and make the 30 mile trip to Gilbert.  Isn't it ridiculous that doctor's offices don't use their fax machines?  Why do they even have one?  They might as well use it as a paperweight!!  And yesterday, my husband called for a psychologist appointment (he has a problem with picking his skin and causing these sores that scab over, then he picks the scab off, it makes a bloody mess and the whole thing gets infected and we have to go to the Urgent Care for antibiotics. We've gone through this song and dance for as long as I can remember) and he had to go to a website and print out new patient forms.  I had to do that with one of my doctors, too.  I think it's a new thing out now....the PATIENT prints out THEIR own forms and uses THEIR OWN INK AND PAPER, thus saving the doctor's office money!  Isn't that just dandy???!!!!!  What's gonna be next? We have to supply our own needles and alcohol pads if we get a shot at the doctor's office?

Ok, I'll quit ranting now.  Our last stop in my grandma's cheer-up plan for when I first came to Arizona without my parents (it was my first time away from home and I'm an only child, so I am very close to my parents) was to Laughlin, NV.  This is another gambling city that I sometimes think is even MORE popular than Vegas.  Every time we'd go, it would be just packed everywhere!  When my parents moved out to Arizona, me, my grandma and my mom would go about once a year.  So I've combined some of those pictures in with my original pictures I took on the trip with just Grandma.  Hope you enjoy them!  I'll start with the original ones first.
This is the hotel-casino Grandma and I stayed in.  It's was called the Ramada Express, but it has since changed names, I heard.  I loved it there, though. It had a train that went out the hotel and gave you great views of the main drag in Laughlin.  Here's some pics of the hotel, train and the views:
Here's the train "station."  You boarded the train here.  It ran once every 20-30 minutes, if I remember correctly.  Best part of it:  it was FREE!!!!  Gotta love free stuff!!
                              All aboard! The Ramada Express is at your service!!
Here's a view from the train.  Isn't it pretty?
 HOT MAMA!!  Isn't she one FOXY Grandma?  I thought so, too.  She bought the PJ's in Mexico and they were so silky. I loved the feel of them.  She was NOT too thrilled with me taking the picture, but sometimes you just have to "let go" and just have it done!  Hehehe.....
Doesn't Grandma look lonely?  I forget what we were waiting for, but it must have been a long time because Grandma doesn't look too happy right now.  The final two pics below of the original batch are of the Colorado Belle Hotel-Casino.  Grandma has friends who always stay over there.  It's so cool with the nautical theme!!
Mother taking her smoke break.  She wasn't allowed to smoke in either my or Grandma's cars!  So we had to stop every so often so she could smoke.  Didn't matter if it was rain or shine!  I was so happy when she gave up smoking in March of 1999.  And more importantly, she STAYED quit.  Way to go, Mom!
Here I am (standing) winning my loot.  Yeah, right!  I'm not much of a gambler. I worked too hard for my money and I hated to put it into a machine that more times than not, kept it!!!  They also have a rule about not taking pics in casinos, but I didn't see a sign up at the Colorado Belle, so I had just one taken of me.
Mom enjoying the view off the little foot bridge on the banks of the Colorado River.
Mom and Grandma looking at the fish that swam through a pond to the Colorado River.  There was a ferry you could take that would take you over to the other bank of the river or to Bull Head City, which was on the other side of the Colorado river.
Here comes the ferry!
The Colorado River.....and I think you can see parts of Bull Head City.
Mother with her collection of coins.  I've titled this picture, "Brother, can you spare a dime?"  I remember it was raining like the dickens in Laughlin that day and Mom's glass lens on her glasses fell right out of the frame and we had to look all over the pavement for it.  When Mom bent over, her coins went over with her, and all over the pavement!  So I was collecting the coins and she and Grandma were trying to find her lens.  Her lens rolled underneath a truck's back wheel.  She retrieved it and off we went.  Time for new glasses, Mom!!

We always had so much fun on our trips and it's those memories that keep me going through all the pain of fibro, the fear of my upcoming surgery and just the hassles of life.  I would so much rather be laughing than crying!!!

Well, folks, gotta get ready and get my medical records.  Hopefully this will be the last trip for records!  Let's keep our fingers crossed.  Hope you all have a blessed Thursday!
God bless!
Until next post,






Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Next Stop: Palm Springs

Hello, friends!

Well, after a good night's sleep (or as good as it gets when you can only lay on your back all night!) I feel a little better today.  I also got a very uplifting call from my dad in Michigan and his very nice girlfriend in Oklahoma.  They have some way of doing a three-way call which is really neat and we can all talk together.  I think we were on the phone for over an hour.  I like Gina, she is very sweet and a pleasure to speak with. My dad is going to meet her for the first time in person (they met online like I met my husband!) in Oklahoma on November 1st.  Dad and Gina, I hope you are reading this: I put a little countdown ticker below this post counting your time down until you meet!!! Let me know what you think!  Hopefully we can meet in person after I have my surgery and can travel farther than out of the house!  And I look better, too.  I don't look so hot right now and I definitely don't feel so hot.  This left leg has been so bad, I've wanted to cut it off and if I had a buzz saw, I just might have done it!

Things are going very slowly on the getting ready for surgery front.  I'm still collecting medical records.  I've my primary care's, now I need the cardiology notes.  I just spoke with my cardiologist and they set me up with medical records and the lady just called me to let me know that I can pick them up tomorrow after 10am and then we take everything to Gilbert to the Bariatric Clinic.  I also have to schedule a bariatric eduction seminar in Decenber and go to one of their support groups.

OK....let's go down memory lane again. I so prefer that than thinking about what's going on now and what's to come in the future!! (i.e. surgery, pain, bills, ect.).

When I very first moved to AZ in 1993, my grandma took me on some awesome trips. We went to San Diego and I saw the ocean for the very first time in my life and then for Christmas we went to Palm Springs, CA! I was so excited to be going back to California.  And to Palm Springs, where all the rich and famous hang out....how RAD is that?  When I asked Grandma how far away we were from Palm Springs, she said "oh, about 50 miles."  When we were traveling there on Christmas day, we came to a town called El Centro which was about 50 miles from Yuma!  So Grandma was a tiny bit off in her calculations.  That made Palm Springs about a hundred and fifty miles away from Yuma!  So it's a family joke now about when we ask Grandma how far things are, we'll say, "50 miles!"  She is such a hoot!!

Anyway, because it's Christmas day, we couldn't find a lot of places open to eat at.  We hadn't counted on that, really, because some stores are open on Christmas and can make a fortune with selling Christmas dinner to people who don't want or can't make it themselves.  Evidently that wasn't a problem in El Centro!  We had breakfast at Jack n' the Box and we found a little cafe in downtown Palm Springs for dinner.  We spent the first day (after Christmas) just driving around town and I took various pictures. Here's some of them:
 Here I am, outside the motel we stayed at.  See? I'm cooperative with having pictures taken of myself...unlike SOME folks who will remain nameless (Grandma)!!
The main "drag" in Palm Springs.  I forget the name of the road.  Sorry! :0)

We went by this beautiful home (which all you can see is the elaborate gate blocking it, unfortunately).  We also saw the Betty Ford Clinic, too.  Grandma barreled through the driveway, past the "No Trespassing sign" so we could get a better view of it.  I pointed out the sign and said we would get NO view of it from jail.  I was too nervous to take pictures! ;))

The following day we went on the Palm Springs Tram ride up the mountain. What a fabulous experience I will never forget!!!  One of those tram cars holds 80 people and it goes up high...I forget the height of the mountain (blame it on fibro fog!) but on the top of the mountain is a gift shop and restaurant.  We stayed away from those and just concentrated on the 30 degree temp drop, snow on the ground, and ohhhh....the absolutely gorgeous view for MILES beyond.  It was a clear day, so our visibility was probably miles beyond!!  The next group of pictures are the ones I took on the top of the mountain.  The first group is the tram ride up and then I took at pic of Grandma (I snuck one in while she wasn't looking!) coming down off the tram.  And then the rest are the view from the top of the mountain.  Enjoy!  Although these pictures do it poor justice...what we saw, you can't really contain the beauty with the limits of a camera!
Grandma allowed me ONE picture of her......her backside!!  How generous of her!!  But I'll take anything I can get!!

Well, I'm sorry to end the memories so soon, but my leg is acting up again so I'm gonna go take my pills and lay down and get my huge feet up.  I can't wait until everything is over with and I can lead a normal life...whatever that is!  Hope you all are having a good day and thank you for listening to my ramblings.

God bless!
Until next post,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Off Day

Hello, everyone!

Thought I'd drop a little note to let you all know I'm still alive and kickin'!  I haven't been feeling well these past few days, my leg is just absolutely killing me and no matter what I do, it doesn't help.  The only position I can get comfy in is laying flat on my back.  So after I finish this post, which won't be long (I'm sorry...blame it on my leg!) I'm gonna go and lay with a good book and probably fall asleep.  I'm just positively exhausted, too.  At least it's cooling down here. It was a rip roarin' 50 degrees when I woke up this morning.  And the day time it's in the 70's.  Very nice.  NOW I know why I stay in Arizona!  LOL!

Yesterday we went and picked up my whole medical record from the doctor that has difficulties with faxing it over to the bariatric clinic.  My hubby, my dear sweet guy, scanned the whole thing into the computer last night.  It took him about 6-7 hours to do it, but now we have a copy for ourself.  Now I just need the clearance from the cardiac doctor (which we requested my records from that office yesterday, too, and it should take a few days) and when I have that we can go to the bariatric clinic and drop it all off.  Nothing like having to do everything yourself!!!

I'm sorry to keep changing the layout of the blog, but I didn't care for the black background and yellow print of the last layout.  I like the witches much more, don't you?  I hope so. So much easier to read.

OK, my leg is hurting me so bad I must stop.  You all have a great day and maybe tomorrow will be a better day for me.  Hope you all are OK.

God bless!
Until next post,

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Next Stop: Las Vegas!

Hello, my dear friends!!

Hope your Sunday is going well.  I can't believe I've managed to crank out a post EVERYDAY for the month of October, so far.  I took the challenge banner down because it made me nervous. I kept thinking....what if I get sick and can't do the post for a day?  I have failed the challenge!  It was getting to be ridiculous, so bye-bye banner!  I feel a lot more relaxed now and can actually enjoy blogging again.

I remember when I very first came out West to live with my grandma.  She lived in Yuma, AZ, about 5 hours or so from Vegas.  She had me fly into Vegas as I'd never seen it before and she hadn't gone in a long, long time so she thought it would help me with my homesickness to go some place fun. So Las Vegas it was!!!

I remember flying in at night time and seeing all the bright lights.  The pilot didn't even have to mention where we were.....it was pretty obvious!!  The Strip was lit up like a million Christmas trees.  I had never before seen so many lights and hotel-casinos.  Even McDonald's had lights strewn all over it and Motel 6, too, which is where we were staying.  My grandma brought her friend Betty along, too.  Or actually shall I say Betty INVITED herself along on this time.  Betty was a widow, too, and she kind of adopted my grandma as her best friend.  And my grandma was too sweet to not hang around Betty and read her menus at restaurants (Betty had macular degeneration) and take her places in Betty's car.  I remember Betty running right into the front plate glass window of a convenience store with her car.  That was the end of Betty's driving days, let me tell you!!  Then Betty got lung cancer and died, and she willed her trailer over to Grandma.  Grandma couldn't believe it!!  And that will talked about Betty having three kids we knew nothing about.  She totally shut them out of her will.  So we don't know what happened there.  But Grandma really enjoyed the new (to her) trailer as her old one was falling apart all around her!  The trailer was over 20 years old, so it was time.  The funny thing is that Grandma sold it to a neighbor and then he sold it to this kid that made it into a meth lab!  The FBI got wind of that and carted the trailer out of the park as it was the scene of a crime!  Poor trailer.  It's demise has to be on the back of a FBI truck!!

OK, back to Vegas.  Here's some photos I took while I was there.  You know me and photos!  If your gonna be someplace new, you want to capture the memory with a picture!!  That should be made into a law!!! :0)
This casino is called The Excaliber.  I loved the front of it with all the pointy roofs.   I bet it costs a fortune to stay at any of these casinos.  When we went on this trip it was 1993, so many things have changed, I'm quite sure!
Here is the Mirage, my favorite casino in Vegas.  The registration desk is the length of a big room and behind it in the wall is a gigantic aquarium!  It was so neat!  I wish we could have seen the white tigers and Sigfried and Roy, but it wasn't in the stars for us to go that trip.  Maybe next time!
I LOVED the fountain in front of the Mirage. It is so pretty!  And it adds to the decor of the casino.  You always think of "mirages" full of water...or at least I do!!
Here's the water fall right up front.  I should ask that guy there if he's enjoying the view as much as I was!!
Here's a panoramic view of the waterfall, trees, and some of the casino.  I bought a panoramic camera before leaving for Vegas.  Those suckers are expensive!  I'm so glad the camera I have now has that feature all ready built in.
Now we move on to Treasure Island!  This has a very cute fountain and aquarium on the outside of the casino.
The attractive lady right smack dab in the center of this photo is none other than Grandma!  She's trudgin' along and I'm keeping up with her at the same time taking pictures galore!
Here is the outside of Treasure Island.  It is very elaborately decorated like a pirate's nest.  Every so often (on the hour, I think) they do pirate shows on the water that is very cool!!
Another view of Treasure Island.  I just couldn't get over all the decorations!!
More Treasure Island!  I wish we could have seen the lil' show they do every hour, but we were there for a long time and it was pretty warm and we were tired, so we kept on our journey down the Strip.
Grandma going down the Strip.  It just goes on and on for miles, it seems.  We walked a very good portion of it, then just couldn't do anymore so we stopped at the casino where Betty was and told her we were going for dinner.

We stayed in Vegas for a few days, then Betty wanted to stop in Laughlin, NV for a night.  She said she would pay for it.  We took her up on it!!  While she was in registering us, Grandma said she couldn't wait to get home.  Betty just drove her nuts with her always having to right and she wore incontinence pads that "crinkle" all night and drives Grandma nuts.  I've never heard the "crinkling" but then again, Grandma was always closer to Betty than me.  My grandpa couldn't stand Betty.  He called her the "Bulldog" and now that I think about it, she DID have a resemblance to a bulldog.  How interesting!!!

My new life had just begun October 31st, 1993.  I was scared, nervous, excited all rolled up in one.  I knew I could count on Grandma.  She has been my rock of stability my whole life.  I love her (and Grandpa and Gramps) so much, words cannot adequately say how much I love them.  They have always been there for me and my mom and dad.  I'll never be able to pay them back for all they have done for me, even if I live to be 150 years old!!!

So, I'll say it like this:

I LOVE YOU, GRANDMA CHURCHILL!!!!! 
Thank you for taking me under your wing when I was first starting out my new life and job in Yuma.  I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for you!!  God bless you forever!

And to my loyal blog buddies, God bless you, too.  It's so nice having people I've never met in person, but over the internet care about me so much.  I care about all of you, too!!

God bless ya!
Until next post,

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